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Comment: Re:Time to start building more nuke plants as long (Score 3, Insightful) 282

by gewalker (#47539527) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

TMI safety both failed and succeeded depending upon how you look at things.

It failed to prevent a partial meltdown of the reactor core.

It failed to prevent a significant release of radiation to the general environment as 15 curies (560 GBq) of iodine-131 (the most concering portion due to biological uptake to the thyroid)

It succeeded in terms of avoiding the wide-scale problems of Fukushima or Chernobyl

It failed in terms of public opinion of nuclear power being a reasonably source of energy production. Nuclear plant construction in US was virtually shut down after this, no new licenses till 2012.


Comment: Re:... and that's not much. (Score 1) 190

Cs-237 is pretty hot, half life of about 30 yrs. How about

Pu-239 .435 kg
U-235 12500 kg
U-238 80,400 kg.

I am sure these sound scary to most people, though Cs-237 is presumably a significant component of the nuclear release in question.

Of course they sound much worse because you can make nukes out of these and that increases the radiation release rate by many orders of magnitude and that mushroom cloud, etc.

To Americans it's Cesium not Caesium, then again most American don't really know what that it is. And most don't understand radiation either.

Comment: Re:I also measure distance (Score 2) 190

Conveniently, there is an even better comparison. You have to disperse all of the radioactive soil into the air to make a similar comparison. We don't actually pump soil into the air though. We do however burn coal.

Webpage According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), the average radioactivity per short ton of coal is 17,100 millicuries/4,000,000 tons, or 0.00427 millicuries/ton. This figure can be used to calculate the average expected radioactivity release from coal combustion.

Converting this to metric equates to about 0.174 MBq/ton (metric ton).

WebpageLargest coal plant in America burns 11 millions tons of coal per year.

Now 11,000,000 tons * 0.174 MBq / ton is 1.914e6 MBq -- a bit less than the twice the totally scary 1 trillion Bq

The average coal plant burns coal with around 0.5 trillion Bq / year

Now, not all of the radiation get released into the atmosphere, a lot of it ends up in the ash. But the ash is stored in ponds and left in piles on the ground, so its not a terrible improvement in terms of safe radioactive containment.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 289

I would settle for nice modular neighborhood-scale TFTR reactors for now. I don't expect to see Mr. Fusion in the years I have left. I don't expect Congress to contribute to either of these either. I might wish they get rid of some unneeded regulations, but I have little hope of this happening either.

Comment: Saying something good about ComCast hurts my brain (Score 4, Insightful) 144

by gewalker (#47524437) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

In actual fact, the ComCast internet service is not too bad. It is just their customer support, pricing, monopoly status and general arrogance that make them among the most hated company in existence.

The other interesting thing in the article was Google showing their IPv6 traffic was now around 4% up looked the perhaps the upward bend at the beginning of an s-Curve.

Comment: Re:headed in the wrong direction (Score 1) 230

by gewalker (#47491897) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

According to scientist, the common view is that the linear no-threshold model is actually the flawed viewpoint. See this article for a pro-radiation view that is not commonly reported. Although most people will scoff, there is actual evidence that a little ionizing radiation is good for you.

Yes, I would participate in the study that installs a radioactive source in your house (at reasonably low levels) because I believe the data that I have been able to find in the past.

Comment: Re:Sure there is (Score 2) 181

Go ahead a look up what kind of telescope you need for this, your choice for wavelength. Poster was saying, mass drivers were useless in space war because you could dodge. Painting it black was a joke because it does not matter at all.

A 10 kg sphere of DU is conveniently almost exactly 5 cm in diameter. Let me save you some trouble, the Hubble has a resolution of about 0.1 arcseconds, which means a football stadium on the moon (about 384,000 km) is needed to resolve as a single pixel on the Hubble CCD's (radar has worse resolution, higher frequency gives better resolution). So for convenience, lets assume our slug is exactly 20000 times smaller in diameter, which means it would have to be 20000 times closer (19.2 km) to be imaged by the Hubble -- giving you a grand total of 0.001 seconds to dodge the incoming round. A additional problem, you have to be pointing your telescope directly at the slug in order to see it. High mag. scopes have a limited field of field. Also, due to orbital mechanics and a long time of flight you could easily lob thousands of slugs on different trajectories all designed to arrive at the time time.

K/E weapons are truly difficult to defend against. Now, a 10 kg slug at 20 kps exceeds the capabilities for any existing railgun I know of, it won't for long though, maybe a few decades. It will still be a heavy piece of equipment for some time to come. But given sufficient motivation they will eventually end up is space unless we find something better first.

Comment: Re:First contact? (Score 1) 95

by gewalker (#47433989) Attached to: Arecibo Radio Telescope Confirms Extra-galactic Fast Radio Pulses

It is a very narrow beam, but they don't point it in our direction. Imagine a then wedge of laser/maser, etc. light being broadcast outward radially on a continuous basis. As the planet rotates, the wedge sweeps pretty much every angle. As you see the wedge only when it points directly at you, it appears to blink very rapidly

Comment: Re:No one cares, so why does it matter? (Score 1) 278

by gewalker (#47433699) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Your point is well taken. Here is one suggested action. Try to wake up the sheep, enough to actually make a difference. Post the article to facebook. Here is how I posted it to my account.

I'm not much of a conspiracy guy, but our gov. is getting really out of control and scary. This is in my mind a pretty credible source. -- that does not guarantee that is in fact true, but I believe that it is.

Clearly there are other ways. Write / call the appropriate politicians, etc. You know more possibilities, no need for me to rant here.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan